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Why I Killed Peter Hardcover – October 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: NBM Publishing (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156163543X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561635436
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,351,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When he was 35 and his daughter had turned 12, Ka confronted Peter, the priest who had sexually abused him 23 years earlier. The story of Ka’s religious formation, how the priest Peter insinuated himself into the lives of Ka and his family, how Ka dealt—or psychologically failed to deal—with the abuse during adolescence and early adulthood, and the catharsis of writing this book all play an active role in the narrative. In Alfred’s hands, the story takes shape and form that allow readers full access to Ka’s emotional life without exploiting it. The artwork, in the main, is scratchy, colorful cartoons, but the final trip to confront the elderly Peter is depicted in snapshots Ka and Alfred made en route, a reminder of the authenticity of the story as documentation of fact. Highly successful both as literature and visual art, this is a book to recommend to abuse survivors as well as readers who appreciate exploring life’s difficult realities. --Francisca Goldsmith

Review

Proponents of graphic novels like to argue that the medium is mature enough to handle any topic. Why I Killed Peter may be proof of that. Ka writes a very grounded story with little hyperbole because none is needed. --Andrew Capt. Comics Smith, Scripps Howard News Service

Olivier recounts his purgative confrontation with his past, and gives hope to anyone haunted by memories of a life that took a few unexpected, unfortunate turns... --The Onion

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By GraphicNovelReporter.com on November 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Somewhere within the evocative cover of Why I Killed Peter lies the terrible truth of the pain and heartbreak caused by abuse. The way we carry things, people, and events around with us, until they're almost a second, blended part of our own body, is there in the blended shadow of two faces, combined in one. The image suggests that the title is not quite what it might seem initially...this is no murder tale.

Nor is it a tale of abuse. Well, it is, to some extent, but it is beyond that. It's an honest, wrenching memoir of one man's coming to terms with his own past and realizing that what he buried within his psyche years ago isn't really dead. It's still there, causing him pain and affecting his life and his relationships. It's that part of him that has to be killed. And to do that, he must learn to forgive himself.

Olivier story begins with his childhood in France. He spends much of his youth with his grandparents in Belgium--the air is cleaner there, and Olivier is a sickly child. His parents are hippies, of a sort--freethinking, nonjudgmental, and eager to be progressive and thought of as such. They invite Peter into their home and their lives because he shares their way of thinking, even though he's a priest. That fact that Olivier's parents are ardent atheists doesn't get in the way of the friendship; Peter is cool and fun, despite being a priest. He becomes heavily involved in the family and in Olivier's life.

The sexual abuse first occurs on a camping trip, and Olivier keeps silent about what he's experienced. The pain of that day, and subsequent days, eats away at him, though, and Olivier carries it like a ball and chain throughout his life.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a strange and "enchanting" book. "Enchanting" seems like an odd word to use, maybe, since it does portray a relationship that includes at least one incident of sexual abuse. But it's told almost like a fairy tale, from a child's perspective. Many events and people are important in the boy's life including this large, bearded, fun, engaging priest named Peter, who treats Oliver like a special person. Over time, the trusting relationship grows until Oliver feels like he cannot refuse Peter's request for mutual sexual touching when they are out camping one night.

This book shows the grooming process, how clueless adults can be, and how these incidents can haunt people for years to come.

Eventually, as an adult, Oliver confronts Peter.

The drawings are a bit odd and haunted--much like memories of childhood. I like how the drawings are all quite different from each other. Some are spare portraits of people's faces that are quite evocative--despite the small number of lines. Others show scenes from a distance, or a detail, magnified. The drawings run across a range of styles and even photographs are included. SOmehow, it all coheres wonderfully.

Kudos to the author and illustrator!
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By John on March 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Raised with a firm belief in hell, the author conveys the shame, fear, self hate that resonates with my personal childhood. That is the word for this book: personal. The author is courageous in his honest portrayal of sexual abuse. He helps you face your own demons courageously. You won't want to put this down and it won't be forgotten.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T. Robin on January 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
My bf and I are into graphic novels, and sometimes we stumble upon the autobiographical ones, and this one was very moving. It was hard to put down, and we read it straight through the end together. You could feel his pain throughout the book, but also his humor. The author has inviting manner, although terrible things happen to him. A few errors here and there in writing, but i think that it's because he must have written it in French and then it was translated. Good progression.
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